October 23, 2000
Knut Olson should be remembered for the work and knowledge he contributed to this country
This is a memorial letter for Knut Olson, a fine fellow whose last years were spent trying to obtain a building permit and a cottonwood harvesting permit from King County.
After over five years and more than $2,400 in permit fees and studies for the tree-cutting permit alone, he died without either the cutting permit or the building permit for his 18 1/2 beautifully parked-out, non-flood acres out of North Bend near the Snoqualmie River.
Knut had a diploma in forestry from Sweden where he grew up. He spent 16 years in farming and 38 years in fisheries in Alaska and at the Gold Creek Trout Farm in Woodinville, which he owned. As fellow writers of letters-to-the-editor on what we considered to be misguided fish restoration policies, we came together at King County hearings on proposed new clearing and grading rules.
This man, with his nearly 80 years of experience and an abundance of common sense, was completely disregarded by the King County regulators whose goal-oriented "best available science" had already determined the validity of their land lockup proposals, with the required public hearings being merely required window dressing.
King County should pay Mr. Olson's heirs a pretty penny for the showplace land for which use was denied during his lifetime. It should be called the Knut Olson Memorial Park, with a sign commemorating the loss of the oldster immigrants and native sons whose work and knowledge contributed so much to this country.
Maxine Keesling, Woodinville